Local jurisdictions and borderlands in Europe and the Americas, c. 1713-1914 – deadline 10 February 2020

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Date / time
Date(s) - 12 June - 13 June
All day


Call for Papers : Local jurisdictions and borderlands in Europe and the Americas, 1713-1914

12-13 June 2020, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, populations and settlers in Europe and the Americas set up a wide range of public offices and corporations that asserted their own jurisdictions within monarchies and republics. This was not, as previously postulated, a simple reaction to weak central power, but rather demonstrates different conceptions of what government was and how it attempted to rule economically, racially and socially complex territories and peoples. Why were the outcomes of these efforts so diverse? Why were responses so different within Europe and the Americas when central authorities faced similar challenges of asserting their authority and implementing administrative reforms?

The purpose of this conference is to understand how officers, corporations and administrative bod- ies at different levels interacted with each other within and between polities. The local level of analysis is key to understanding this. We invite historians of Europe and the Americas to reflect on the challenges faced by administrations in local jurisdictions and borderlands amidst social change, the expansion of em- pires, and the formation of independent republics. A novel approach to these questions will be to put into dialogue historians of the eighteenth century and nineteenth century in order to challenge conventional narratives and concepts about government, administrative relations and the state.

We welcome individual papers on topics related to the conference theme. These include, but are not limited to:• Fiscal policies and practices• Military administration• Justice• Infrastructure and public works• Land distribution• Patronage networks

Keynote speaker: Professor Alan Knight (University of Oxford)

Concluding Remarks: Professor Joanna Innes (University of Oxford)

Applicants are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute papers, consisting of a 300-word abstract and a CV to the convenors at shyam.sridar@lmh.ox.ac.uk and luis.galan-guerrero@st-annes.ox.ac.uk. Applications from doctoral students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged.